How to Fix Knee Cave While Squatting

Does your knee move inward while climbing stairs? Do you become knock-kneed while squatting? This inward collapse at the knees is called dynamic knee valgus. This position of the knee can contribute to knee pain and injury, including MCL strains, patellofemoral pain syndrome, ACL injuries, and more. Dynamic knee valgus is characterized by hip adduction … Continue reading “How to Fix Knee Cave While Squatting”

Does your knee move inward while climbing stairs? Do you become knock-kneed while squatting? This inward collapse at the knees is called dynamic knee valgus. This position of the knee can contribute to knee pain and injury, including MCL strains, patellofemoral pain syndrome, ACL injuries, and more.

Dynamic knee valgus is characterized by hip adduction (thigh bone coming closer to the midline) and internal rotation (twisting inwards). In the picture above, the athlete’s knees are collapsing into dynamic knee valgus.

Strengthening the glute muscles can improve your ability to avoid knee cave and prevent potential injury to your knees. The athlete below demonstrates proper knee position with hip, knee, and feet correctly aligned.

Below are some exercises from easy to more difficult that can help strengthen the glutes in order to avoid dynamic knee valgus.

Clamshells 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps

Banded glute bridge 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps

Lateral band walks 2-3 sets of 6-10 steps, each direction

Glute kickbacks 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps, each leg

Have some questions? Give us a call at 619.260.0750

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

info@innovativept.net

WATCH: Try These Eccentric Hamstring Exercises for Injury Prevention

What is Eccentric Exercise? Eccentric exercise refers to muscle activation that focuses on lengthening. If you have taken up running in quarantine, you should focus on strengthening your body so it embraces this new form of exercise and Eccentric motions are a great place to start. Decreased hamstring strength can lead to injury, and a … Continue reading “WATCH: Try These Eccentric Hamstring Exercises for Injury Prevention”

What is Eccentric Exercise?

Eccentric exercise refers to muscle activation that focuses on lengthening. If you have taken up running in quarantine, you should focus on strengthening your body so it embraces this new form of exercise and Eccentric motions are a great place to start.

Decreased hamstring strength can lead to injury, and a hamstring strain can be a nagging injury and predispose athletes to future hamstring strains.

Watch this video from Dr. Joe Wong to learn his favorite Eccentric Hamstring exercises.

Have a nagging hamstring injury? We can help! Give us a call at 619.260.0750.

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

info@innovativept.net

Eccentric Hamstring Exercises for Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention

What is Eccentric Exercise? Repetitive motions consist of a concentric and eccentric portion of the exercise. The concentric portion refers to muscle activation while the active muscles are shortening—an example is the portion of the curl when the elbow is bending (the bicep is active and shortening). The eccentric portion of an exercise refers to … Continue reading “Eccentric Hamstring Exercises for Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention”

What is Eccentric Exercise?

Repetitive motions consist of a concentric and eccentric portion of the exercise. The concentric portion refers to muscle activation while the active muscles are shortening—an example is the portion of the curl when the elbow is bending (the bicep is active and shortening). The eccentric portion of an exercise refers to muscle activation while the active muscles are lengthening—with the bicep curl example, the portion of the exercise in which the elbow is straightening (bicep is active and lengthening).

Eccentric Exercise in Hamstring Injuries

During the pandemic, many athletes have turned to running as their primary form of exercise. While running is excellent exercise, it’s important that our body be strong enough to accept our new activities to avoid injury. Hamstring strength is important for running and, in particular, for sports with sprinting, acceleration, and change of direction. Decreased hamstring strength can lead to injury, and a hamstring strain can be a nagging injury and predispose athletes to future hamstring strains— having a previous hamstring strain increases the risk of a future hamstring strain between two and six times.1,2 Reinjury typically takes significantly longer to recover from than a first-time injury.1 Research has shown that including eccentric training of the hamstring is beneficial for both rehabilitation of hamstring strains and prevention of future hamstring injury. Below is a progression of some eccentric hamstring exercises, from easy to advanced.

  1. Bridge fall-out with slider (2-3 sets of 8-12 reps)

2. Swiss Ball Eccentric hamstring (2-3 sets of 8-12 reps)

3. Eccentric SL RDL (2-3 sets of 8-12 reps)

4. Nordic Hamstring (2-3 sets of 6-8 reps)

Have a nagging hamstring injury? We can help! Give us a call at 619.260.0750.

References:

  1. Schmitt B, Tim T, McHugh M. Hamstring injury rehabilitation and prevention for reinjury using lengthened state eccentric training: a  new concept. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012; 7 (3): 333-341.

  2. Lorenz D, Reiman M. The role and implementation of eccentric training in athletic rehabilitation: tendinopathy, hamstring strains, and ACL reconstruction. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011; 6 (1): 27-44.

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

info@innovativept.net

6 Exercises for Reducing Anterior Knee Pain

Anterior knee pain is the result of the knee not moving properly, with it rubbing against the lower thigh bone. This pain can be caused by the kneecap sitting in an abnormal position or weakness in the muscles. This pain can be debilitating but can be alleviated with certain exercises. Watch these 6 exercises to … Continue reading “6 Exercises for Reducing Anterior Knee Pain”

Anterior knee pain is the result of the knee not moving properly, with it rubbing against the lower thigh bone. This pain can be caused by the kneecap sitting in an abnormal position or weakness in the muscles. This pain can be debilitating but can be alleviated with certain exercises.

Watch these 6 exercises to reduce your anterior knee pain.

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

619-260-0750

info@innovativept.net

Are You Experiencing Pain in the Front of Your Knee?

Since gyms have been closed, more individuals have been choosing running as a safe and effective form of exercise. Recently, we have been treating more patients with anterior knee pain due to this change in their exercise routine. Many factors contribute to this issue. Patients that are experiencing this discomfort and pain in the front … Continue reading “Are You Experiencing Pain in the Front of Your Knee?”

Since gyms have been closed, more individuals have been choosing running as a safe and effective form of exercise. Recently, we have been treating more patients with anterior knee pain due to this change in their exercise routine. Many factors contribute to this issue. Patients that are experiencing this discomfort and pain in the front of their knee are likely to experience limited mobility and decreased performance.

Some common diagnoses for anterior knee pain include:

  1. Patellofemoral disorder
  2. Patellar Tendinitis
  3. IT Band Syndrome
  4. Generalized “anterior knee pain”

All of these diagnoses can cause irritation around the knee, typically below the knee cap. This could be due to the kneecap and tissues around it not gliding properly in the groove at the end of the thighbone. This puts extra pressure on certain parts of the knee and may pinch or stretch these structures. Knee pain is most common with running, stair climbing, jumping, and/or squatting. Some other symptoms may include popping, catching or grinding when walking or moving the knee.

There are many reasons why you may have knee pain including, but not limited to the following external factors:

  • Improperly fitted running shoes
  • Excessive training or too rapid progression
  • Hard surfaces can impact your joints, making them subjected to more wear and tear
  • Misalignment of the knee
  • Poor flexibility of the muscles surrounding the knee joint
  • Weakness in hip musculature


Below are some basic exercises to start with to help knee pain and patellofemoral syndrome:

  1. Side lying clamshells

-Position: Begin by lying on your side with the side you intend to exercise upwards. 

-Movement: With your knees bent and feet together, slowly pull your knees apart, keeping your feet together.  Hold as directed.  Slowly bring your knees back together.  Repeat as directed.

-Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

2. Glute Bridging

-Position: Begin by lying with knees bent and both feet placed on the floor with arms at your sides.

-Movement: Raise your hips off the surface by squeezing your gluteal muscles.  Attempt to bring the hips up to where they are inline between the knees and shoulders.  Repeat as directed.

-Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

3. Eccentric stand-to-sit

-Position: Begin in standing position.

-Movement: As you are standing bring both arms straight out in front of you and parallel with floor. Keep arms outstretched while slowly returning to seated position. Once seated lower arms. Repeat as directed.

-Lower down slowly for a count of 6 and repeat for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

4. Wall sits

-Position: Standing against the wall with feet shoulder width apart.

-Movement: Begin exercise by tightening abdominals and sliding down the wall until your hips and knees are at 90 degrees. Hold that position.

-Hold position for 15 seconds to start for 3 repetitions.

5. TFL/ITB stretching

-Position: Stand next to a wall with the involved leg toward the wall.

-Movement: Cross the involved leg behind the outside leg and push your hips towards the wall until you feel a stretch on the side of your thigh and buttocks. Keep the foot of the stretched leg pointed forward or, if possible, slightly toward the wall.

-Hold the stretch for 30 seconds for 3 repetitions

6. ITB Foam Roll Mobilization

-Position: Begin by lying on the floor on the side you wish to exercise. Place a foam roll under your hip and support your upper body by placing both hands on the floor.

-Movement: Keep the lower leg straight and cross the upper leg in front of the lower leg, bending the knee and placing the foot flat on the floor.  Use your upper leg and arms to push and pull your body forward and backwards, rolling the hip and leg over the foam roll. Repeat as directed.

7. Quadriceps stretching

-Position: While standing in front of a stable surface.

-Movement: Bring your heel on the side you wish to stretch towards your buttocks and hold it there with your hand.  Hold as directed.

-Hold the stretch for 30 seconds for 3 repetitions.

8. Hamstrings stretching

-Position: Begin in sitting at edge of the chair.

-Movement: Straighten the leg that you wish to stretch in front of you so that knee is straight, and the heel is resting on the ground.  Slowly lean forward, placing your hands on your hips.  You should feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Hold as directed.

-Hold the stretch for 30 seconds for 3 repetitions.

If your anterior knee pain persists, please feel free to contact our office and schedule an evaluation with one of our skilled physical therapists.

References:

  1. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome/
  2. John, MS. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: A review and guidelines for Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Nov 1;60(7):2012-2018.

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

619-260-0750

info@innovativept.net

How to ACTUALLY Activate Your Core

“Activate your core!” “Squeeze your core!”  “Tighten up your core!”  If you have been to physical therapy or seen a personal trainer, you’ve likely heard the term “activate your core”. But do you know what this really means? Do you know what your core is, actually? Well hopefully this post clarifies what the core is, … Continue reading “How to ACTUALLY Activate Your Core”

“Activate your core!”

“Squeeze your core!” 

“Tighten up your core!” 

If you have been to physical therapy or seen a personal trainer, you’ve likely heard the term “activate your core”. But do you know what this really means? Do you know what your core is, actually? Well hopefully this post clarifies what the core is, how it works, and why it is important in movement and even not in movement! 

Let’s start with anatomy:

The core is made of many muscles and a few different structures. Think of the core as a large soup can – it has a top, a bottom, and then an encasing cylinder to connect above and below. The top of our core is the diaphragm – this is our main muscle of respiration (breath).

Many people in our society tend to have difficulty breathing with the diaphragm and begin to breathe with accessory muscles in the neck, chest, and shoulders. The bottom of our core is the pelvic floor – this is a complex structure that males and females both have to help keep our organs in our trunk. This is often a neglected part of the core contraction. Now to the familiar muscles – the abdomen. We have the abdomis recti, the internal and external obliques, and the transverse abdominis. This is our front and side core. It includes very deep muscles that act like a corset around us to help stabilize our trunk. Lastly, we have our multifidi and smaller stabilizing muscles in our backs. These help to segmentally stabilize each vertebrae in our spines. Some anatomists and therapists also consider the glutes as part of the core. 

So, what does the core do? The core muscles work in conjunction with each other to keep our organs in place, increase intrabdominal pressure (which actually makes us stronger in the moment), stabilize our spine, stabilize our trunk for our limbs to function better, and to help us breathe properly. These muscles do so much for us on a daily basis and are definitely one of the most important parts of our body for daily function. 

So how do I activate my core? Listen up because this is the most important and useful part of this post. Here are a few ways and tips to think about while “activating your core”!

  1. Diaphragm: place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest – take a breath in and try to fill your belly first prior to your chest rising. Then let it all out. It doesn’t matter if you use nasal or mouth breath for this activity, but nasal breathing does have some additional perks. Taking a belly breath is the best way to ensure you’re using your diaphragm. 
  2. Pelvic floor: This can be tricky for a lot of people. Think of a kegel exercise… a kegel is when you consciously contract your pelvic floor like you are trying to clinch your bottom and for lack of a better word, “pull up your genitals”. Another cue that helps many people is acting like you are trying to stop the flow of urination. For men, think about walking into a cold body of water – we’ve all been there! Make sure after you squeeze you relax that contraction fully. 
  3. The abdominal muscles: there are many cues for this – pull your belly button toward your spine, pull your belt buckle towards your belly button, tuck your ribs, and smashing your back into the table are all very common. My personal favorite to ensure proper abdominal contraction is through using breath. Take a belly breath in, then on the exhale, draw your ribs down toward your feet. With exhalation, our abs naturally want to help, so we use this to our advantage with this technique. Once you are able to feel your belly tighten – you are ready to apply this technique to other functional activities such as lifting, bending, squatting, and carrying. 

I hope this post helps clarify what the core is, why it is important, and how to activate it properly. If you have more questions about the core and how to activate it best for you individually give us a call at Innovative PT and schedule an in-person or virtual appointment!

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

619-260-0750

info@innovativept.net

Start 2021 Off Right With a Custom Health Check

January 1st is a chance to start anew, and after a year like 2020, boy do we need it! If you’re anything like us, your New Year’s resolution list requires a few scrolls, but we have one more to add to the list.  It can be easy to stick to your routines and forget about … Continue reading “Start 2021 Off Right With a Custom Health Check”

January 1st is a chance to start anew, and after a year like 2020, boy do we need it! If you’re anything like us, your New Year’s resolution list requires a few scrolls, but we have one more to add to the list. 

It can be easy to stick to your routines and forget about your general health, so we’re here to remind you that it’s probably time for a check-up. At Innovative Physical Therapy, we offer custom Health Checks that act as a status update on your overall health. There really is no better time to make sure you’re in tip-top shape than the new year. 

The benefits of a Health Check include:

  • Decrease your risk of injury
  • Improve your overall health
  • Live an active life
  • Decrease daily aches and pains
  • Improve overall energy and quality of life 

Our Custom Health Check usually costs $180 but to help celebrate a much-anticipated 2021, we’re offering it for $140 for a limited time. 

Let us help answers some of your questions… 

Why Should You Get a Health Check if You’re Not Injured?

Much like getting a physical and checking your overall health from your primary doctor, a physical therapist can address the specific needs of your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissues. A musculoskeletal evaluation can ensure that these essential internal structures are working together to support, stabilize and move your body.

Most people assume physical therapy is for those with current injuries or post-surgery. Physical therapy can help prevent future injury and help decrease pain that you may not consider chronic but could be avoided.

What Happens During the Evaluation?

During your Custom Health Check, your physical therapist will review your medical history and perform a series of tests to check your strength and ability to coordinate and move your body from head to toe, including a custom movement screen. Based on the information gathered from the screen, we can best help you reach fitness goals and prevent future injuries. We always recommend scheduling regular checkups before a problem even arises.

Start 2021 off right and give your body the physical check-in it needs!

With the help of your physical therapist, you can move better, feel better, save money, and prevent injuries!

Please call to schedule your custom checkup today to receive a discounted price of $140 for a limited time. 

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

619-260-0750

info@innovativept.net